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Insurance Archives

Unfair Competition Claims Lacking Evidence that Insured Disparaged Another's Product Were Not Covered as Advertising Injury Under Primary and Umbrella Insurance Policies

Insurance Company to Reimburse Insured for Redesign Costs Where Policy Fails to Define Land Use Ordinance and Environmental Regulation But Not Where Policy Expressly Excluded Costs Relating to Sinkholes

District Court Enforces International Arbitration Provision against "Follow Form" Excess Carrier, Clarifies Standard of Review under Federal Arbitration Act

Victims' Estates Could Not Recover Underinsured Motorist Insurance Benefits After A Single-Car Accident Involving Tortfeasor Driving Vehicle Owned By Victim

Pennsylvania Superior Court Holds That Insurer Cannot Enforce Subrogation Rights in Independent Suit Against Third Party in Workers Compensation Claim

In Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., v. Domtar Paper Co., No. 1052 WDA 2012, 2013 PA Super 262 (September 27, 2013), the Pennsylvania Superior Court examined the issue of whether Section 319 of the Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation Act, codified at 77 P.S. ยง671, provides an independent cause of action for insurers to directly sue third parties.

Middle District of Pennsylvania Finds Documents Properly Withheld When Counsel Acted as Coverage Counsel, not as Claims Adjuster

In Walter v. Travelers Personal Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72771 (M.D. Pa., May 22, 2013) (opinion by J. M.C. Carlson), the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that "coverage counsel was, in fact, serving the client in an attorney-client capacity, and not in some other functionshutterstock_130099715xsmall.jpg such as a business advisor or claims adjuster." As a result, the court ruled that documents were properly withheld by an insurance company under the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine.

Pennsylvania Insurance Law 101--Insurance Company's Responsibilities Under a Liability Insurance Policy: Duty to Defend and Duty to Indemnify

An insurance company's responsibilities to its insureds are defined by the insurance contract, statutes and regulations. Case law further refines an insurer's duties. The primary responsibilities of the insurer defined by the insurance contract are the duty to defend and the duty to indemnify.BrandonMcCullough--Insurance Blog Photo 2.jpg

Pennsylvania Superior Court Issues Significant Ruling Regarding Insurer's Duty To indemnify Unauthorized Settlement Made By Insured Being Defended Under A Reservation Of Rights

In what is certainly going to prove to be a significant decision that affects the landscape for insurers and insureds alike, the Pennsylvania Superior Court recently issued an opinion addressing the legal standard to be applied when evaluating an insurer's duty to indemnify an insured for an unauthorized settlement made by the insured while being defended under a reservation of rights. In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Am. Nuclear Insurers & Mut. Atomic Energy Liab. Underwriters, 2013 Pa. Super. LEXIS 1630 at *6-7 (Pa. Super. June 10, 2013), the court was called on to decide whether the settlement should be evaluated under the "bad faith" standard articulated in Cowden v. Aetna Casualty and Surety Co., 134 A.2d 223 (Pa. 1957), or the "fair and reasonable" standard formulated in Alfiero v. Berks Mutual Leasing Co., 500 A.2d 169 (Pa. Super. 1985).

Will The U.S. Supreme Court's Decision In Hillman v. Maretta Impact Pennsylvania?

In its recent decision in Hillman v. Maretta, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether a state law providing for the automatic revocation of a beneficiary designation in the event of divorce was preempted by a federal law providing for the enforcement of a beneficiary designation under a federal life insurance policy. 133 S. Ct. 1943, 1945 (June 3, 2013). Specifically, the Virginia state law at issue provided that a former spouse who recovers "death benefits" in violation of the statute was personally liable to the person to whom the benefits should have been paid. Id. at 1948. In effect, the Virginia law redirected to whom the benefits should be paid without regard to insured's beneficiary designation.